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Border blasts raise tensions over Abkhazia

Border blasts raise tensions over Abkhazia
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Georgia’s defacto border with its breakaway region of Abkhazia has been rocked by bomb blasts, fuelling fears of renewed conflict in the region. A policeman was slightly wounded in one of the five explosions, which did not cause extensive damage.

In the past week there has been a series of bombings, shootings and mortar attacks that have led to recriminations on both sides. Russia, which maintains a peacekeeping force in Abkhazia, has accused Georgia of trying to stoke tensions.

Tblisi denies this and maintains Moscow is aiming to annex the territory and South Ossetia, which also broke away from Georgia after a brief conflict in the early 1990s. The Abkhazian leader, Sergey Bagapsh, claims to have evidence Georgia had planned a land and sea invasion to retake the region last Spring.

Whether true or not, it highlights how deep divisions remain and how vulnerable the region is to a return to all-out conflict.